Before talking about the most effective home remedies for itchy throat, let's know what is meant by “itchy throat”. The word “itch” in old English means “a sense of restless desire”.
Later it is used to describe “irritating tingling sensation in the skin”. An itchy throat is a condition when you feel the desire to scratch your throat due to an uncomfortable sensation that rises within.
By knowing the meaning of itchy throat, let's now focus on the causes of itchy throat and whether any home remedies for itchy throat are useful to relieve the symptoms.
Causes of an itchy throat
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
It is considered one of the common causes of itchy throat. It happens when the body responds to certain substances such as “pollen, dust, dander, and exhaust fumes”.
These substances are considered harmless but in certain individuals, it triggers their body to produce a chemical called Histamine that induces allergy in these individuals.
- Food allergy
Some individuals develop allergies to some food substances such as peanuts, strawberries, seafood, milk, and wheat. This allergy appears in the form of swollen lips and face.
Food allergies can also appear in the form of an itchy throat with difficulty in speaking and swallowing.
- Drug allergy
Allergies to certain chemical substances such as penicillin and sulfa in the drug can occur and their symptoms range from mild in the form of an itchy throat to life-threatening blockage of the airway that needs medical intervention at once.
Exposure to smoke or dust
Dehydration mainly in hot dry weather
Side effect medications
It appears in the form of a dry cough or itchy throat and it is not related to any allergic reaction.
Acid reflux (heartburn)
Xerostomia (dry mouth)
Bacterial and viral infection
When the cause of itchy throat is a bacterial infection as in tonsillitis or strep throat or viral infection as in Influenza or Herpes Simplex, home remedies for itchy throat alone won't help in relieving the condition.
Treatment of itchy throat focuses mainly on decreasing the discomfort and irritation of the throat as it in most cases takes only a week for the condition to resolve on its own without medical intervention.
Home remedies for itchy throat help a lot in reducing the symptoms and alleviation the discomfort and irritation accompanied by itchy throat.
Home remedies for itchy throat
Salt water gargle
Gargling with warm water with ½ teaspoon of salt is known to be one of the most effective home remedies for itchy throat as it helps a lot in decreasing any inflammation that may cause the condition.
Honey can be used alone in its raw material or mixed with other substances to decrease the symptoms of itchy throat.
Having 2 teaspoons of honey in the morning is excellent for decreasing cough and sore throat.
Honey can also be used in a mixture of ginger and lemon with hot water and drank twice a day to relieve the symptoms.
Known to be widely used in China and Southeast Asia. Herbal tea has a lot of benefits to the body from helping in metabolism, body weight loss, digestion and boosting immunity.
Herbal tea such as chamomile and red clove is found to be one of the most useful home remedies for itchy throat in relieving its symptoms.
Sipping hot drinks such as “tea, ginger, anise” or soups is good for keeping the body hydrated and the mucous membranes of our bodies clear and intact.
Cold beverages and ice chips
Some people find cold icy drinks helpful in decreasing the itchiness of the throat and this is due to the numbing effect of cold drinks that have on the throat. So, it helps in reducing the discomfort.
It should be taken into account that icy drinks can only be used with an itchy throat without any related severe conditions such as tonsillitis, or bacterial or viral infection as it may worsen the condition in such cases.
Humidifiers and hot showers
In most countries with dry weather, we find nearly all houses have humidifiers to increase the humidity of the air to protect our mucus membranes from drying out which in return may lead to sore throat. Hot showers with steam have the same role as humidifiers.
Even though it is not considered one of the home remedies for itchy throat, Over-the-counter drugs against allergies or colds, cough drops, nasal sprays, and lozenges are needed to relieve the itchy throat symptoms.
Chewing gums with xylitol is considered to be effective in increasing the salivation of the mouth and is used with people who have xerostomia.
Chewing gums help make the mouth always moist and thus decrease the irritation of itchy throat.
Prevention and protection
Prevention of itchy throat starts by understanding the condition and what causes itchy throat. By knowing the causes we can protect ourselves against it.
Among the preventive methods against itchy throat are:
- Avoid going out during the allergy seasons.
- Avoid exposure to smoke and dust.
- Drink lots of water.
- Take a honey spoon once a day as a prophylaxis.
- Continuous hand washing during influenza seasons.
When to see a doctor
If itchy throat lasts for more than one week without responding to self-care and any of the above-mentioned home remedies for itchy throat or is accompanied by other symptoms, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Some of the symptoms are:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Wheezing chest
- Mucus discharge
- Swelling of face and limbs
Itchy throat is a term used to describe the feeling of irritation and discomfort in the throat.
Home remedies for itchy throat are considered to be the safest and the most effective methods to relieve the symptoms of itchy throat.
Be in touch with your medical team if the itchy throat does not resolve on its own.
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